Under the Gate

What is the cat looking for under the gate?

Perhaps the old tom two doors down trudging across the road like a sloppy sentence.

Perhaps the purr that left her mysteriously six months ago.

Or maybe she’s dreaming of the Krazy Kat cartoons she loved read to her as a kitten.

Or what the rest of her siblings are up to at the Pet Barn and whether they landed on her feet like her when she was adopted.

Or maybe she’s just curious. She’s a cat after all.

Rattle and Ho Hum

 
 I rattle the biscuit tin.

You coming in? I say.

Nah, she says, I’m waiting for a friend.

That mangy old tom I saw you with last night down by the chook shed?

Go easy, she says. I don’t talk about your friends like that.

Look, I say, it’s reaching the ungodly hour of 9.30. I’m going to hit the sack. You coming in?

Silence.

Well, don’t forget. Santa’s coming tonight. He might have something for you. Be good.

She looks at me nonpussed.
 

The Loves of My Life


 
I love
Peroni pint glasses
Ohio
Blue Tip Matches
& the waifs of light
the sky at sunset snatches
 
I love a cutting comment
but not at my expense
I love Jabberwocky
though it doesn’t make
much sense
 
I love the nonchalance
of cats
who’ve mastered
the art
of just getting on with it
& not giving a fart
 
I love the lilt & lift
of ‘a brown-eyed girl’,
the ballet of a kite
& how we enter
the world
in a rush of light.
 
*what things do you love?

Slasher

I’m jealous of the scratching post.

Whenever she comes inside, cranky from some failed endeavour or an altercation with the crows and attacks the scratching post with feline ferocity like the slasher to the shower curtain in ‘Pyscho’, I’m envious.

It sure beats walloping the wall and pummeling the pillow when things get fractious or ululating expletives to the night sky.

Is it too much to ask: a scratching post for Xmas? Man-sized , of course.

Who Let the Cat Out?

Who let the cat out?

Sleep did.

Sleep lifted the lid.

Let it roam

the alleys and backstreets

of the mind

rummaging through

memory’s bin;

Look what the cat

dragged in —-

half-buried scraps,

dead rats,

old what ifs.

Who let the cat out?

Sleep did.

Waiting for the Wood to Catch

The sun levers me from bed .

Slides over the smooth rump

of hills .

Steams away the frost .

The cats desert the hearth .

There are a few embers left ,

chunks of ash

warm and marshmellow fluffy .

Not a ripple of sound .

Everyone’s asleep .

I put two logs on the ash ,

a tangle of twigs

and settle back on the cane lounge

waiting for the wood to catch .

Two dragonflies clamber over

the green scrim of curtain ;

a young magpie rests high up

in the fork of a scrawly gum ;

from the next farm the caw

of a crow ,

the baaa of distant lambs ,

overhead the sudden scraaak

of galahs ;

my stomach rumbles —

breakfast !

the grey slumbering Sloth

and Mao , the red burmese cross ,

in expectation of warmth

slink around the hearth ;

a flame stirs the stubborn fuel

crackles

sets this poem ablaze

Berating a Barramundi

We were talking about Milly, Bev’s cat

who had just butchered a baby blackbird

when Rob went feral.

I have never liked cats, he said. They should be locked up. Murderers all.

Go easy, I said. You ever eat at a restaurant?

Of course, he said.

Ever ordered a barramundi?

Often.

Ever sent it back because it was too fishy?

No, of course not.

Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi

for being a fish

as to castigate a cat

for being feline.

Out-Foxed

the nefarious cat

is taken back

the nest so

cleverly concealed

in a thicket

of thorns

& prickles

there is little

she can do

but sigh —-

and eat

humble pie

  • photo courtesy of Ulle Haddock

Not Another Cat Poem

I’ve written another poem about a cat.

I promised myself I wouldn’t do that,

But this one leapt upon the page

and as usual took centre stage;

the other poems took off and scurried,

looking set upon and rather harried.

There was one about a lecherous leer —

that would have to wait another year;

and one about my old dog Trigger

who humped his mattress with manly vigour.

So may things about which to write

but this cat poem purrs with delight.

The Scarlet Pimpernel of Cats

She was the scarlet pimpernel of cats. A thunderstorm was looming and the sun had already set and she had not made her way inside though it was her dinnertime and she was a stickler about that. Hail was forecast. Go outside and rattle the tin, I was ordered. I’m having an early night. Fair enough. A cold will do that to you.

On and off for the next four hours I did as I was instructed, rattling the biscuit tin, calling her name. Only the hail answered. If she was on the roof again, she’d be a soggy, sorry cat. Occasionally between downpours I’d check the road with the torch on my iPhone for something flat, gingery and blood-stained. Fortunately there was nothing. The Scarlet Pimpernel of cats was indeed elusive.

Around eleven I packed it in and slumped asleep.

Did you find her? came a text message next door. I’m scared.

No, I messaged. ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

In the morning preparing two bowls of cereal I opened the pantry door and out popped a cat! She headed straight for her bowl, wofing down the food from last night. I checked the pantry for tell-tale signs of toilet distress but there were none. How did you go for so long without doing a wee? I asked.

I crossed my legs, she said.